Poet Clare Paniccia surprises readers by following up this title with the imagery of boys dissecting frogs in biology class, then skillfully guides this action to align with that of a girl’s realization about the nature of [those] boys who would treat girls similarly. Never in my life would I have put these two together, but Paniccia’s ability to do so seamlessly engages the reader in a strange tangle of reminicent emotion. Take the opportunity to hear her, and others on TriQuarterly‘s online journal, read the work herself.
Self-Portrait as Girl Being Led On
By Clare Paniccia
I watched them do it,
their small, fat fingers taking
to the swell of chest a blunt scalpel
and peeling, no, sawing into stomach
their fitful curiosity, the frog’s
glass eye staring outward and empty,
staring toward the very mouths of schoolboys
who entered so brutally the crevice, the abdomen’s
silenced bell. . . .
Read the rest and hear the poem read by the author on TriQuarterly.